Learn the process of the Creaming Method for making cakes. The creaming method is the standard method used for making butter cakes.
What is the Creaming Method for Cake Making?
Sometimes also called “The Conventional Method”, the creaming method for making cakes is the standard technique used for mixing butter cakes such as pound cake and coffee cake. The purpose of this method is to create an emulsion with the butter and sugar and to slowly work in the rest of the liquid ingredients in a way that will keep the emulsion stable so that the cake will have an even final crumb.
Procedure for the Creaming Method
1. Prep Your Ingredients and Equipment
Allow your butter, eggs, and any other liquid ingredients such as milk and sour cream to come to room temperature. It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature so that they will properly emulsify when you are mixing the batter.
Measure out all of your ingredients. Sift all of your dry ingredients together including the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and any spices your recipe calls for. Prepare your baking pans by greasing them or lining them with parchment paper.
2. Cream the Butter and Sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and your sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes. If using a stand mixer, stop it about half way through the creaming process and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
This process forces air to get trapped in a web of sugar and fat particles and helps make your cake rise and keeps it very light and tender.
3. Add the Eggs
Add the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar mixture one at a time. After each egg is added, mix until it is completely absorbed into the mixture before adding the next one. This ensures that you will not break the emulsion you created during the creaming process.
Egg yolks contain a lot of fat and the mixture can not incorporate too much fat at once or the creamed mixture will break. Add the eggs in slowly, will help them become part of the emulsion, making the nicest texture for your cake.
The mixture will look light and fluffy once the eggs are mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically to ensure it is mixed evenly.
If your recipe calls for any liquid extracts you would also add those at this point.
4. Alternate Adding Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients
In order to ensure that the batter will absorb the rest of your wet ingredients properly, you want to alternate adding your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients into the batter. Adding some of the dry ingredients to start will help the batter absorb the wet ingredients, but will prevent overdeveloping the gluten.
The dry ingredients are added in 4 increments and the wet ingredients are added in 3 increments, always starting and ending with the dry ingredients. The process is as follows:
- With the mixer running on medium speed, start by adding about 1/4th of your dry ingredients into the batter and mix just until it is absorbed.
- Add about 1/3 of the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix just until it is blended in.
- Continue this process, adding the dry and then the wet ingredients until all of it is incorporated. You will start and end with the dry ingredients.
5. Bake the Cake
Bake the cake following the recipes instructions for temperature and time.